BRUNSWICK – Residents living in the Brunswick City School District will be asked at the polls this November to support a new emergency operating levy now the Brunswick Board of Education voted unanimously July 22 to pass an emergency resolution declaring it necessary to levy a tax in excess of the 10-mill limitation.
The proposed five-year levy, which is poised to generate an additional $6.1 million a year for the Brunswick schools, would be the fifth operating levy on the district’s books if approved this fall.
Altogether, District Treasurer Mark Pepera said, Brunswick currently operates 11 school buildings, including seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school, on a $70 million annual revenue stream.
That revenue does not include the 2.3-mill, 36-year bond issue voters approved in 2017 to build the new Brunswick Middle School and fund additional districtwide capital improvements.
Pepera explained that the school board has been evaluating the district’s financial position closely for the past year and a half and recently came to the conclusion that it was time to focus on “the district’s long-term financial stability.”
“We haven’t had asked the voters for any additional operating money for the schools since 2006,” Pepera said. “That’s 13 years – almost three complete levy cycles. Today, that is almost unheard of.”
Pepera said Brunswick is renowned throughout the state for operating a “tight belt” and for closely watching its spending when compared with other nearby school districts. However, he said that additional money will be needed in the next five years in order to avoid having to make cuts in both programming and staff.
“This money would be dedicated to funding district operations and we are fairly confident this will get us another five years before we have to come back to the voters,” he said. “We would never ask for more than we need but we do want what we ask for to last so that we don’t have to go back to the voters sooner than we anticipated.”
The legislation the school board approved this week authorizes the district to send financial figures to the Medina County Auditor’s Office to generate not only the millage for the proposed levy, but also to determine how much the levy will cost homeowners who reside in the district.
Those figures are expected to be presented to the school board at its work session scheduled for Monday, Aug. 5, at which time the board will take action to place the levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.
According to the Medina County Board of Elections, Aug. 7 is the deadline for ballot issues to be certified for the November election.